tv Senator Joe Manchin Town Hall Meeting CSPAN March 19, 2017 6:31pm-7:51pm EDT
holds a town hall meeting. this took place yesterday. this is one hour and 20 minutes. >> thank you very much. thank you. i want to thank elizabeth. she is a product of farmington, west virginia. family went to school with me. of what she is doing. this is unbelievable. .od bless you all i'm available. thank you all.
thank all of our speakers, who would did excellent. this makes a difference. personal testimony makes a difference. i appreciate you being here. heret to thank the people and i do not know if there are others, but i want to thank them . sometimes, it is tough. want to introduce my staff. we do casework. anything you need help with, we will make sure you get the help and the assistance you need. kim, where is kim? she is a top caseworker.
we have maria. back here. and tj.brian i want to thank all of them. i'm sure you have a lot of concerns on other issues. table and thehe affordable care act is the biggest challenge we face right now, the largest social agenda and policy change we have. it is right up there. social security didn't get it right and medicare did not get it right. it will take a wild. there is not a person who doesn't think we need to fix it. notan fix it, but you do
throw the baby out with the bathwater. the politics of this are bad. let me tell you what we are dealing with. trump and iresident said, let me tell you what is happening. my republican colleagues and your republican colleagues are taking you down a path of a political promise. i came to the senate, after away.r byrd went we all still miss him. trust me. he was something. repeal 60hey voted to times and i never saw something that was a little bit better or something that would fix it. i'm the person they go to if they are looking to try to work
with. nobody. so, i'm thinking, ok will stop now, all of a sudden, this has been -- i'm thinking ok. now, all of a sudden, this has been the mantra. in 2014, we've lost the house and the senate and they thought they were on a roll. they thought that people wanted them to repeal. i'm saying, wait a minute. now, it is put up or shut up. i said to the president that they are telling him to repeal, but not change things. they are trying to get through a political election. that is all they are trying to do. they know how devastating it is going to be and they think that they can push out the losses
until after the election. i said that they are going to repeal every single tax tt pays for this d yoare going to be upside down in two years with your budget and they have not explained it to you. i said, that is not right. don't know down that. we may have slowed him up. he said that they were going to repeal and replace on the same day. maybe there are mirror as i cles iknow about -- mira but i'll thinkt, that is likely. -- i don't think that is likely. there is no reason we cannot sit
down and look at the repair that is needed in the private markets and fix it. --we all agree that democrats and republicans -- pre-existing conditions are inhumane. you have to allow people to buy insurance. republicans tell me that they agree with that and they tell me that we should not have a cap that says, i'm sorry you have used all of the money we can afford to spend on you. well agree that that is not thate and we all agreed 26-year-olds should stay on and that senior citizens -- why would you want to throw this out? why would you want to repeal
this and start over? here is where the problem is. salary and private sector and the private market. you are paying higher premiums and you are saying you are not getting insurance and you have start thousands until you using the insurance. you have to get the product and the market matched. they will pay the fine, but not the $4600, because it is costly. we can change that with a change in the delivery system. ng workers have
been getting screwed and i want to tell you what has happened, so that you know the entire story. we are fighting for our health are on anits and we extension. this started with john lewis out. ng a he said that we fought in these wars and it is so important for us to have the energy that we have had. they act said that there would be a certain amount of money en from coal to pay.
that went on and we had that in place. the bankruptcy laws came into place and allowed people to stick us for what they paid. then, we had the crash and we really went upside down. thead to pay for reclamation fund and we are not using that money. we are using excess money to pay for the pension and the retirementund. bill on thet this floor and we have used everything we can to hold it up. agents on hold and he is going to stay.
we are going to get our health care done. i want to talk about oh the. ates.out opi i have learned a lot and i have made a lot of mistakes, but never to try to hurt the state. frome always learned mistakes and i have tried to do things and some rings do not work out and you have to fix them. in mye first time lifetime, we have been below 50% of adults in the working age. we still have the test workers in the world. ofple say that the workers
west virginia will give you a good day of work for a good day's pay. there are lack of skill sets, addiction, or convictions. commendation -- a combination of those three. if we are honest with ourselves, there is somebody we know in our immediate family or close friend who has been affected by drugs. if we do not step forward and fight this, god help us all. anothers not a anothe country that can take us on. economy not another that comes close to our economy.
cannot.w they yes what? they do not have to. they think that we will full from within. they do not think that we have a well educated workforce to remain a superpower. we are not producing the people who can keep us a superpower in the world. we have problems of addiction. lifeboat.ill called help me on this bill. pennyes people pay one per milligram of opioids they produce. let me tell you what it does. it goes to treatment centers around the country and where it is needed. west virginia will have one in every community.
1.5-twoy will produce $.5 billion a year. 1.5-$2.5 billion. care. addiction doesn't it is a silent killer because we do not say anything. thiswe are saying is that would give us the money to fund it. for the first time, people with mental health disorders are getting help now. we're taking that away immediately. we are back to square one. i get a person with an
addiction. i talk to people web been addicted and have had their lives ruined. they are thankful to be alive and say that they want to get cheered. house.s a recovery excellent group of town andn their community. treating fromhool conception to birth and all the way through. end,t them at the tail after they have been addicted. they go home to an addicted lifestyle and repeat. this is all inclusive. the other thing is that they will not stay in treatment
because they cannot get rid of the conviction. they have the felony on their hands. we have a bill that i need help is not says that, if it a violent or sexual crime mostly a, if it is felony for grand larceny, you through a recovery plan as a mentor and you mentor other people. your sponsors can go to the sentencing and arresting forgivenessask for to get back into the workforce. with that being said, i will
open this up to talk about anything and everything. anything and everything does come up and i am happy about that. >> as you can see, there is a huge . questions, go and stand against the wall. have a littlell bit, not much, to answer the question. what time is apportioned? 90 seconds! >> if you have any questions, we are here. question you hear me? me?> can you hear today onding here behalf of my best friend who
committed suicide last weekend. it if you let me finish my question. positionraged on your on letting the aca stay intact, not hy hav -- i have about the silent killer in west virginia, suicide and attempts on one's life. this affects your constituents, our neighbors, and poorest among us. mcdowell county has the highest the westuicide and virginia population has a 50% higher rate of suicide. poverty is a death sentence. on thursday,ay, your top donor is your
daughter's pharmaceutical company, but you are not working in her favor. westdmitted that virginia's are dying from suicide and drug overdoses, but your daughter is in the drug industry. why are you pushing so many opiates bills? i heard you laugh off medical marijuana and you said that everybody wants to smoke marijuana for keys, love, or whatever. for those in pain, being denied a safe and natural alternative to the pharmaceuticals that have poison every inch of our state is not a laughing matr. repeal of theding affordable care act, thousands of virginians lacking access to , how do youerapies
project the numbers changing for theirwho consider suicide only option and what have you done to educate yourself about the benefits of medical marijuana? manchin: my daughter is the ylan and she and i know that people at that level are overpaid. we talk about that. i don't have control of that. they don't have control of that. it is crazy. i don't understand it. with that being said, i am proud of what they have done and people have good jobs in
morgantown. i know people understand that could have been wiped out. . fight opiates do you think i support opiates? or anyn pharmaceutical other pharmaceutical company considers that their product? product,ers that their i would put them out of business. as far as marijuana, there are people who want recreational marijuana and i can tell you that i go to different treatment centers were people have been addicted. nine out of 10 of them will tell me -- [booing] people don't think
that is true. i'm trying to learn about that. i'm telling you what i find out all stop at the addiction centers, they tell me that it turns into harder stuff. i am trying to find out and she marijuana,edical there are a lot of good attributes and it can help. if that is the case, we will find out about how doctors feel about that and the side effects. can you get off of it or is it the same as going to the treatment centers later? i don't know. we will find out. what i know about recreational marijuana, i would not be in favor or legalize rep. rice: in
the -- legalize recreational marijuana. i know other people feel the same about that. with that, i know that they see the colorado made a lot of money in this and that and that prohibition doesn't work. i have heard a little bit of everything. we are taking all of that into consideration. this is for me to understand your concerns. all i can tell you is what i know and it may not be enough to have the conversation you want. accepting recreational marijuana and i am receptive to medical marijuana and how it can help people with their care. >> in the interest of time, a comment about questions, as we move through the process, if you
so that weyour seat can cover the widest variety of. topics. is jennifer wagner town. live in morgandow ofnk you for your support health care for americans. do you support funding for planned parenthood and revert octave rights and health? -- reproductive rights and health? we are all ain: product of our environment. life is precious. life is a gift. i am as pro-life as possibly can
be. i went to congress and i was the governor. i have tried to balance this the best i can. i know how emotional it is. lifee a lot of women in my and i hear from all different sides of you. i went to the congress and a vote came to defund planned parenthood. being pro-life, i said it made sense. i started learning more and hyde amendment, which make sure that federal dollars do not go to abortion. people cannot say that your tax dollars are used against you ar will.
if i can find a penny that goes from the fund of federal itlars, i would vote against , but i could not. so i voted for funding planned parenthood. accusationsorrible and videos they came out and that was all being investigated and we had another vote and i voted against planned parenthood until that investigation was cleared up and it has been. thee are charges against people who made the unwarranted documents and i can only tell you that, if planned parenthood noes up again and there is connections, everything is proven false and nothing comes up between now and then, i will
vote to fund planned parenthood again. >> thank you for being here. morgantown.n i want to thank you for supporting the aca, because my husband and i would not be able to afford any insurance otherwise. sen. manchin: you guys are on the markets. i know where you are. >> thank you for fighting for that. sen. mchin: anybody who thinks they are getting free alth , justthey are working
getting lower prices. it is not free. >> thank you for that. my question is about another issue in the senate and it is the hobby lobby story. neil gorsuch signed onto in opinion that allowed for profit employers that refuse to comply affordable care act and if it's for women. do you oppose mr. gorsuch? sen. manchin: a good question that comes up all the time. >> to follow-up real quick, can you commit to getting an answer from mr. gorsuch? mr. gorsuch has a hearing coming up and i will sit down with him before i make a final decision on him.
i have not talked to him. i will. have nevere -- i been so embarrassed as a u.s. sittingor an american colleagues --, my i kept saying we weren't that way in west virginia. might not agree but we will talk to you. i couldn't understand, for 12 months we went without a nominee. mcconnell says basically back in it0 joe biden said that shouldn't be someone's last year of their term -- that you shouldn't have that president
that is going out a point someone for a lifetime appointment. it is the argument that is being made. they sat on merrick garland for a year. now we have everybody mad on that side. i can tell you, for democracy to work you have to have three branches of government that work. you have to have the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. and the judicial branch does not work with members of the supreme court. you just can't be on a tie. so this is what we have. a nuclear polled option. so you deal with the nuclear option in 2015. on the only senate that i'm the only democrat in the senate today. he would be rolling over in his
grave. it is wrong. the duty of the senate, unlike policy bodylitical in the world is so different because we have the rule of the minority, but the majority has to have a vote fresh old -- vote threshold. the house can do anything they want to do with just a simple majority. george washington says the aople's member will be like hot cup of tea, sometimes it will be so hot you can treat it that you can't drink it. -- that you can't drink it. here's what we are dealing with. 51 votes in the senate.
mcconnelll you mitch will say harry reid did it in 2015. i will blow through the nuclear option for the supreme court. you destroy the whole process legislation.e we have no input whatsoever. what goes around comes around. i can't be definitive yet. my main concern is this. can i keep the 60 vote threshold? i will vote to support the 60 hold threshold. i will not go down to the 51 gorsuch is also -- replacing youe are replacing scalia, justice scalia was a very conservative justice. there's going to be another one.
hopefully not, but with the image and everything else, there could be another one within this four year term. i have no problem asking the question. >> i am from fairmont west virginia. i have a chronic condition, a pre-existing condition that significantly impacts my functioning. i require weekly infusions that before insurance would cost $20,000 per month. that far exceeds what i make annually. i require this to function. i uld be significantly impaired to changes by the aca. but in the state we have horrible health disparities, , we are alnesses product of your environment. how are you going to make sure
that the leader of west virginia's public health is honored and understood in washington so that when changes come, they aren't going to negatively impact the state more devastatingly than it already has been. >> that is the reason we are all here today. you think our problems are bad now, they exacerbate the problems we have now. how do we get people healthier? let me give you the chips program. i went to washington and said give me a waiver. let me take care of my children a little bit of friendly. the program is basically the working poor. we're going to cover their kids. familyre coming from a that doesn't have an insurance guarantee you don't have routine maintenance. you are basically using it when you have to.
so i said let me use that same amount of money and use it for k to five and eight. let me do their bmi, do the complete workup on the job. we were doing things like that. a healthy person on medicaid does not need the same type of -- a verya very six sick person might need. if you are a healthy person on medicaid and welfare, i want you to go to your nutritional classes, i want you to exercise. you have to basically learn to live a healthier lifestyle. i can't help the poor people that are so sick because the money is being used in different areas.
are going to have to put common sense into the health care. we are going to talk about single-payer. that is a big thing. >> my name is richard steiner. i'm from fairmont. >> a lot of hometown people. >> what i have read about the republican changes to the aca, they basically want to replace it with tax credits. and i'm here on behalf of some of my friends from mcdowell county. that county has the lowest life expectancy in the united states, one of the per median -- one of the lowest median per capita incomes. able tothey going to be
afford health insurance of it relies on tax credits if they can't even make it? know the aca, obamacare isn't working. everybody can agree on that. nothing is what we agree on. where it wasing intended to work. they would have never gotten out. you can't go back on that. it is the private market. no one wants to fix it. if you fix it you basically have told all your people who voted for you we are going to repeal it. i'm going to hold you deal with thing i
can tow your is five hundred $75 billion of tax credits to the richest americans, they don't need it. [applause] money we don't use that that those tax credits would be given to them, if we don't use it wisely and make sure people are getting healthier and living a more productive life, then we have not done our job either. i'm going to talk about single-payer. who has the question on single-payer? i know you do. we might as well get right back. collect thank you for having courage because the others just didn't. you aware of the house bill hr system?
677? bill inmedicare for all january in the house. no one knows about it. sen. manchin: it's a shame, the bill comes over to the senate. >> it covers comprehensively everything you need and how to pay for it. it is medicare for all. who pays?in: >> it is a 5% tax increase -- it's a 5% tax increase on the richest 5% of the country. i actually brought a copy of it. somethingin: this is we need to talk about because i want to learn more about it. denmark,y canada, sweden, u.k., they are all single.
i said the same question people ask me, how do they pay for, who pays? we have to revamp our tax structure in america. nobody is even talk about 20 thrilling -- no he talked about the debt. passgeneration is going to it onto the kids and grandkids. let me take sweden. i couldn't believe this one. the taxable income from the first dollar you make, first is zero. 47,000, it but they have a local tax, so the government of sweden takes one dollar to 47,000. everybody pays 20% on the first dollar they earn.
if you make 47 to 67%, you pay 28% locall tax with a tax for 48% tax structure. that's not doable for us. u.k. has a better one. we don't know what their local taxes are, but zero to 5400 pays 10%. everybody pays something. everybody pays 10%. 5400 34,000. 161 and above is 45%. canada. zero through 45% is 15. the first dollar is 45 and 15% taxes. and comparison to the -- i'm
willing to look at everything. person, ie a healthy will refer back to when i was governor. i had all the hospitals come in. governor, we are taking care of all of these people and you can't pay. your tax dollars, i had to jungle -- had to juggle money around. billionkers comp was 4 in debt. and the $4 billion was adding up. they were trying everything they could. didn't have insurance but they had to have workers comp. wherever they got hurt, they aippled back in and claimed workers comp claim. it's the only thing they had. a decentink that is way to deliver and that's what
republicans want to go back to, i sat on the front line and watched that. that's what we are fighting against. wethe -- if there is a way can all agree the new tax structure is how we are going to pay for it, i'm fine. so we are looking at it. paragraph the third -- i can write a bill and they to a score. the congressional budget office says that does what they say you have to do. we are happy to do that. >> i'm a new resident at morgantown. you and your two colleagues were invited. about -- thealk
previous person asked the question that in 2012 the supreme court voted on a decision. these are unelected judges. there are other decisions come into the florida court. another decision that would gut the union's ability to fight for health care. but is completely unregulated. my question to you is judge gorsuch --a tragic is judge gorsuch doesn't make commitment -- will you vote against them? manchin: i can't say yes or no today until i talked to him.
here's the thing, and i'm but i'mit on this playing it on this come the 60 vote would be destroyed more -- let's say i vote against neil gorsuch. votes.gets 59 by the laws of the rules and send right now it is at 60. , senator mcconnell, mitch mcconnell, who it back up to vote on basically an option going one votes. now if we hold it at sixth and bash in a weav to be sure because i'm going to tell you one thing, right quick and prevailing wage,
what our legislature has done is destroying the working person. and i mean that. that is awful. -- they won't me give us an answer. i would be hard-pressed to vote for him that is for sure. >> i am from morgantown. as a former labor representative i left the industry and 96 because with the amended clean air act we saw the downfall of the industry that was common. . took a different career path protection act isn't bailing out the minors, it is bailing out coal companies.
want to know why we do not adjust the bankruptcy laws and make pensions and health care the first creditors paid every bankruptcy? sen. manchin: you are exactly right and basically that has come up with the onslaught of people having a national right to work. this is coming out of the forefront. liquid contraction and some legislation -- we are with some traction and legislation. the bankruptcy courts have allowed everyone to lk. i agree. i agree. you ready? you ready. >> hice senator manchin, i'm from west virginia.
i do appreciate you here. recently you explained on morning joe why you have been so supportive of mr. trump lately. forstated you think him that you thanked him for the west virginia coal miners. --said he was one of two's one of two democratic senators to approve scott pruitt for the epa. you stood by trump, allowing it whatr -- aside from that, are you thinking mr. trump for? trump care hurts coal miners. what is trump doing for coal miners? when youou support thank him for protecting the coal miners of west virginia? [applause] i don't think there's any secret in this room i didn't vote for donald trump,
i voted for hillary clinton. , he got that being said elected, he is our president. somebody asked me when i was running, they said what are you going to do if donald trump gets elected? i said i'm going to do the same thing if hillary clinton gets elected, i'm going to do my job. i'm going to do everything i can to make him the best president. i want my country to succeed and what -- and i want my stay to succeed. i was the chief executive of the state. i went to the state senate and said i'm going to bring a team on board. know him, you might not like him. but if they can pass a background check, if they can do financial disclosure and an ethics probe, give them to me. i'm going to be there for four years. tried.always
i always thought, you come and go with the executive. with that being said there's a few of them i couldn't vote for. we will talk jeff sessions first. i voted for jeff sessions. heard a lot of -- i heard from a lot of my friends about that one. we are proud of our environment. i would make my decision about what i knew about you versus what some but about you, that's ju t way i was raised. i knew jeff, i never saw one else of bigotry or racism. senator byrdbout the same way and i never saw any of that and senator byrd.
i'm just telling you exactly what i know. i'm just telling you exactly what i know. now -- jeff, step aside, step aside jeff. when i say it as the only democrat who voted for him, they say he's just playing politics. he didn't vote for the guy. i said i voted for him, he let me down. i told jeff sessions this. if it is proven that you misled -- i would ask you to resign. scott pruitt basically passed the three things. i note comes from an extraction stay. we are holding his feet the fire.
he came up, he is knowledgeable. i want to talk about the extreme buffer rule. are not going to. the clean water act is still in place. -- i can take that. what it did, it took all the authority away from the epa. first four into the regulations. i look at the duplicity and sometimes you weigh it down. there's got a be a balance between the economy and the environment. there's got to be a balance somewhere. that is all i am looking for. anyway we are going to hold this.
they will be in violation and will be shut down. we all want clean water and want clean air. some of us are going to do it a little bit differently. you just can't do it. i'm not for that, i want the epa -- job.s job area >> we are getting to the next question. >> i promise this would be a very respectable -- i didn't want to go back on my promises. >> i'm from west virginia. fornted to thank you
protecting our health care and for thank you for voting against betsy devos. having said that, the affordable affordable care act is repealed, we will inevitably have more sick kids. couple that with the fact that west virginia public education is struggling with enrollment and finances, charter schools would ke many quality teachers out of public schools. it would divert money from public schools to charter schools. this would be devastating for kids who are already marginalized. hr 610 makes my heart hurt for our kids and west virginia. education is there hope for breaking the cycle of poverty. our kids will be unhealthy and uneducated. what will you do to fight for health care for our kids and the
fight for public education? >> that is the crooks of everything. when betsy devos came in, she's a fine woman. betsy, education and west virginia is more than reading, writing and arithmetic. they getace where their health care. there is so much more to public education. she passed the three test. when it comes to turning down andpublic education system a person who has never been involved in that process or kids who have never been involved. that's all. and i told her it's not personal.
i can tell you on that. a head start. money morning that more towards early childhood. we had energy express. i will share one quick story with you. i go to your schools, your kids schools, i was -- go to the cafeteria first. i was down in southern west virginia. the cook was crying. you crying yet she said these little kids are going to go hungry. i just wish we could be here all year long. so you have heard me talk about your long education, that is many of the reasons. we have to be looking at things differently. they've got nothing.
and we are going to fight for that. >> this is a follow-up with that same issue. >> within the hr 610, the school voucher, the every student succeeds act is at risk. and that allows children with disabilities to receive education and accommodations statewide. how can you ensure us that every stillt succeeds act will be available and viable for our children? >> that was another reason.
we foot that bill. that is a moral responsibility we have taken on. some people don't understand that whatsoever. voucher system and the charter, i'm sure charter works in some areas. we don't have it. our tax structure is different. you redirect that dollar, you didn't add any more dollars to it. ican't not supported because know how fragile our education system is. we have to continue to be vigilant. that's all we can be. >> thank you for being here.
foremost -- formerly from charleston. epauestion does concern the at 31%. many of >> i'm very concerned it's going to disrupt many of the programs. another area being cut is monitoring and enforcement. for the for 32 years department of environment protection under your administration, as well as four others. sen. manchin: we never cut it either, did we? >> no, we didn't cut it. , andi want to emphasize is my role as an attorney for the agency, i often had to deal with the epa in both enforcement
issues and in getting the state water pollution control program. i helped write the laws and rules to make our west virginia standards conform to the minimum federal standards. i can tell you from personal itk for 32 years that had not been for epa, and i know you have had differences on what i , and thesider minor scheme of things, but what i am saying is, without epa, west whennia's inclination -- virginia's implementation of the environmental program would have been fledgling, at best. ,e need a strong federal agency if this states environment will prosper. sen. manchin: at the end, i got to the point that i talked to
our director at the time, that they didn't even have whatsoever -- any say whatsoever. that's what they were telling me. >> that's not accurate. bottom line, it's critical that epa remains strong. sen. manchin: i support epa. i've want them to do their job and allow the are a core best the army corps of engineers to do its job. >> i would say the rhetoric going around about obama's war on coal, that that fosters -- sen. manchin: i know one thing, it out of the army corps and put it in the white house. i'm going to keep the epa, but i'm going to make sure they do their job. let's go. senator manchin, thank you
for being here this evening. i'm from fairmont, west virginia , one of your hometown folks. my question regards your health 534 otherhat of the members of congress. [applause] >> you all are covered. you might know where i am going. sen. manchin: i'm fine, because i just found out about what my health care is. >> my question is, the congressional health care plan is something of a gold standard in the united states. sen. manchin: no, no, no. >> the point is, many of your constituents here believe that part of the problem is that many of the republican legislators do t real have any skin in the game. would you, should the american health care act reach the senate as it currently is, support an offered, -- support
an amendment, is offered, to remove that program altogether so that the 535 members of congress could be in the same boat as the 24 million americans who would lose their health care? would you support that? [applause] sen. manchin: let's make it very clear, this is a misnomer. this is what they call -- anyway, i pay $1000 a month. i'm on the exchange. bryant, you will be on an exchange. tj, you're on the exchange. everyone that works for me is on the exchange. everyone things we get free health care for life. that is a bunch of malarkey. that is crazy. i don't know where this gets started. everyone things we get a paycheck for life. i stopheck stops when being a senator, and my retirement is not my full paycheck area my retirement --
my paycheck. my retirement is to present my paycheck. i don't know where all this happened. i'm paying the $1000 a month out of my check. i'm on the exchange, the d.c. exchange, because that's where our checks are written from. is anyone on the west virginia exchange? or is everyone d.c. exchange? hh -- iting changes, affects all of us to. if you go down, all of us go down. that's the way it should be. >> i'm from hazelton, west virginia. i just really want to it on your voting record and ask, why do twice voted against the reimportation of fda improved jugs from canada? sen. manchin: i didn't, i voted for it. >> no you didn't. sen. manchin: no, i don't think so.
we will check it out because i just voted. we had a vote. >> you voted previously against it. sen. manchin: not unless it was very nhl -- buried in a bill. if they were just opening the market without fda approval, i would be against you but if there is fda approval, i am for it. give me the copy of them. we are going to check it and get back with you. if i messed up, i am sorry. that's one thing bernie and i agree on. >> i'm not from around here originally, but i live in morgantown for 40 years, and i am a citizen. [applause] sen. manchin: bless you. do you have dual citizen? no, just the one. you pick the right one.
>> i grew up under the british health service. a grandmother who didn't pay any taxes, didn't have two pennies, spent weeks in hospitals on nothing. my father was treated effectively. my mother pays nothing and gets courteous, prompt service. is working well there. it is a socialized instrument. my problem with obamacare and anything being done here is it is only part of the issue. the other is the vast medical industry in this country, including the drug companies, but everyone is being paid hugely, and we can't afford it. can you do anything about it? sen. manchin: here's the thing about it. they say all these big pharmaceutical companies, we are the only country in the world that prices drugs the way we price them. toallow the private sector
negotiate discounts. that's crazy. the federal government should do that. it should be the private sector. with got two companies, three companies that all they do is the middleman. three companies. one company is bigger than coca-cola and at&t put together. they don't make anything. the drugs from here and get a discount from the manufacturer and put it over here. inare the greatest shoppers the world. when i was governor, we try to book -- we tried to put compare shop and getould the best price. we don't do any of that. we do nothing to try to get the lowest price of delivery for quality goods. but when we shop, we go out and shop for everything else. we don't know how to shop for health care because the system n't let us. i'm trying to change it anyway i can. [applause] >> this wi be our last
question before we wrap up. good afternoon, senator manchin. thank you for being here with us today. i wrote a plain vanilla like question on this white car, but anyone who here knows me, knows i can't ask it this way. i am so passionate about this subject i am going to throw the cart away and speak from my heart. i would like to talk to you about the way i feel about drugs from a very personal perspective. my name is pamela, i live in morgantown, but i worked in clarksburg and serve all of harrison county. -- a 30 yearare health care career to have a new career as a child protective services worker for the state of west virginia. [applause] in addition to that, and you may already know this, i am a 13 year foster parent and a doctor's parent for the state of west virginia. the reason i tell you both of those things is because i have
parented 10 children in my home. of them, i have adopted eight. of those 10 children, nine of them came to my home from their families, and those families were all devastated by drugs. the other one child i parented in my home was devastated at the impact of mental illness. as a cps worker, most people know by conventional wisdom that we have ridiculous caseloads. my ridiculous caseload which i absolutely love and am passionate for is more than 90% families that are devastated by drugs. yes, i am very concerned about the adults, the users that need inatment, and that are dying unbelievable numbers in west virginia every day. i look like an adult, but i am really a skid -- really a kid. i am speaking for the children who are absolutely devastated by what is happening with substance abuse and addiction.
i absolutely implore you to do everything in your power and to push hard against a very difficult political tide to protect medicaid benefits that particularly include treatment for substance abuse and mental health, and to please protect forother funding or policy those same very important issues. i hope you will do that. please tell me how. sen. manchin: let me make sure i understand. come here. you'vee nine children taken in foster care and adopted eight of the? >> i have parented 10 children and adopted eight. [applause] sen. manchin: that's -- >> when i am not appear to promote that for myself. wait is issuethe
impacts families and kids. thank you. sen. manchin: is the toughest thing we've got going. i know we are wrapping up in time. let me just say this to you. i'm a product of my environment. i grew up between the tracks and the creek. childk i was a privileged because i had unconditional love. we didn't have anything. i'm proud of all my family because i saw what they taught us. i grew up, there was always rules. you had to work. no work, no eat. and you had to help everybody. my grandmother would stop and say a prayer if she saw someone disabled or handicapped or whatever. i just watched that. i say, my politics is, i am fiscally responsible and socially compassionate. i'm never going to make a decision that i think would hurt not one human being.
i might not make decisions the way you would want me to make them. i tried to listen to everybody. i'm never going to do anything that will hurt you. if i make a mistake and mess up, till the about it. i will go back and fix it. you can change your mind, you can't change anything. every time i get on television, i am so careful to understand how good we are. . i know the connotation in west virginia, we don't do it that way. we don't treat people that bad. we help people. we will reach out and take care of our neighbors. it's just the way we were raised. but it'sgot close -- gotten so toxic, that if you don't agree with me, you must be my enemy. if you are republican, you are not my enemy. president trump is not my enemy. west virginians but it you. i didn't, they did. they need help. don't repeal the affordable care act. . repair it.ust --
just fix it. and then we can fix the rest. the only thing i can tell you is this. i will give you everything i've got. my daughter, i am proud of my daughter. she started out 21 years of age working for a little company in a basement in the bottom of a trailer. she's been there for 25 years and worked her way to the top. only in america, i guess. these salaries are all out of whack everywhere. coaches, when i grow up, the coach could barely make it. , thehe coaches administrators can barely make it and the students can barely make it. you can think any segment of society, it's all out of whack. and i have a number for the white house if you want to write this down. the white house switchboard is 202-256-1414.
i really believe that president trump should say, stop this. let's fix it. we know where it needs to be fixed. if you throw it out, politics are so bad, we can't fix it. i don't want to go down that road. i hope he would help us. -256-1414. you can get the congressional numbers, our colleagues numbers, get everybody. senators that are democrats that absolutely will hold the line and not vote to repeal the affordable care act. all 48. [applause] we need a little bit of help. time,the interest of that's all the tiestoday. we do have something small plan to give everybody in the room a voice. all of you have on your chairs a green and red card. we talked in the beginning about -- how that would
be agree and disagree. i would ask all of you to take this out now. we will have a very brief lightning round, so to speak. the first one is going to be very easy. i think it will be very interesting for the senator to see the reaction. the first is, we will make this brief. the first is released -- the first is please raise your green card he would like to thank the senator for attending the townhall today. green or red for agree or disagree. repairingou support the aca, read if you support repeal and replace. ok. support aou would replacement of the aca, but only if it were to be for a standards and inspired single-payer health care system. [applause]
know, tom price has become the new secretary of health and human services. senator manchin, i believe you voted against tom price. is that correct? raise your green card to agree with his vote of no on tom price and read to disagree. there is a tie between the environment and health care, especially here in west virginia, where a lot of the bills go through a state legislature. head of the epa, senator manchin voted for scott pruitt. please raise your green card to agree and red card disagree. -- and red card to disagree. we also discussed the links between education and health care. betsy devos, secretary of education, senator manchin voted against. green for agree, red for
disagree. finally, it pains me to say this, but president donald trump has been very strongly supporting this american health care act, along with many other bills i believe the majority of people in the through would disagree with. green card if you have significant concerns with senator manchin's approach toward the trump administration, red -- i'm sorry, read if you have significant concerns, green if you think that is the right approach. apologize, i made that very confusing. senator, i want to thank you for coming today. that was a little more than 50-50, but i just wanted the activity to give the people in the room of voice. we never had a chance to chat. that youly hope understand that your path toward reelection in 2018 does not go through donald trump. it goes through the people in this room.
[applause] >> and i would hope that you spend less time asking us to primary you and more time doing exactly what you have done today. accu. -- thank you. sen. manchin: think you all. i can honestly tell you the bottom line is, there is so many things that distorted the whole election process. citizens united is the first to destroy our system with outside money. [applause] sen. manchin: next, everyone believes that every politician will do anything for a vote. as sincerely and honestly as i can tell you, i am going to do what i think is best for the state, and i am going to try to get a the best position to do what i can to help everyone of you all. it might not be the position you would agreon, t if c put myself into place where you can be heard, and i can make sure we know whathey are doing for this great country and what assistance we need, i am going to do that.
my consolation is this. if i don't get reelected, i did to come home and spend more time with you, and i am ok with that. thank you, god bless you. [applause] i want to thank everybody for coming. make sure you have filled out your contact sheets. if there are any cards, please get them to the people at the doors. thank you again for coming. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]